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« Looking For Info On Iraq Polls | Main | Breathtaking »

Syria Plays A Dangerous Game

Dan Darling has some disturbing news from the Middle East, that could amount to a casus belli with Baby Assad's regime:

To bring it down to the bottom line, this means that a Palestinian terrorist group that is trained, harbored, and financed by Bashar al-Assad's regime is complicit in the deaths of US and Iraqi soldiers. If this can be confirmed, it would seem to indicate that Syrian involvement in the assassination of Rafik Hariri would be the least of al-Assad's (or Khaddam, if we want to be more up-front about these things) problems.

What's more disturbing, as he points out, is that it's not being covered in the media here.

In some ways, this is like the Eason Jordan affair. This is either true, or not. If true, it's a huge story that the media should be digging into. If false, then it's a huge story that they should be debunking. Either way, they remain asleep at the switch.

[Update at 9:20 AM EST]

Jim Robbins says that Assad is a uniter, not a divider. Not that that's a good thing, in his case. At least not for him...

[Another update, at 10 AM EST]

From this article by David Ignatius in today's WaPo:

The leader of this Lebanese intifada is Walid Jumblatt, the patriarch of the Druze Muslim community and, until recently, a man who accommodated Syria's occupation. But something snapped for Jumblatt last year, when the Syrians overruled the Lebanese constitution and forced the reelection of their front man in Lebanon, President Emile Lahoud. The old slogans about Arab nationalism turned to ashes in Jumblatt's mouth, and he and Hariri openly began to defy Damascus...

..."It's strange for me to say it, but this process of change has started because of the American invasion of Iraq," explains Jumblatt. "I was cynical about Iraq. But when I saw the Iraqi people voting three weeks ago, 8 million of them, it was the start of a new Arab world." Jumblatt says this spark of democratic revolt is spreading. "The Syrian people, the Egyptian people, all say that something is changing. The Berlin Wall has fallen. We can see it."

This from a man who has long expressed anti-American sentiments.

[Via Jim Garaghty]

[One more at 3:30 PM]

The Syrian plot continues to thicken:

Iraqi state television aired a video Wednesday showing what the U.S.-funded channel said was the confession of a captured Syrian officer who said he trained Iraqi insurgents to behead people and build car bombs to attack American and Iraqi troops.

The video also showed an Iraqi who said the insurgents practiced beheading animals to train for decapitating hostages.

If true, why is this not a clear act of war against both Iraq and the coalition?

Posted by Rand Simberg at February 23, 2005 05:04 AM
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Bashir is not his old man. The degree to which he is in control of Syria is debatable. If someone else wanted to train Iraqi terrorists, he might not be able to stop them. (Doesn't really change anything, but worth remembering.)

Now, I'd be stunned if Syria, at least Syrians, wasn't aiding and abetting the Iraqi insurgency. But, if I had to guess, resolution will await irrefutable evidence and the response will come from the Iraqi government, not the U.S.

Posted by billg at February 23, 2005 04:39 PM

It's not an act of war because we're too overcomitted in Iraq to interpret it as such.

But when Iraq is over, Assad places himself near the front of the line. If it's true that the military options in Iran are limited, and nothing can be done about North Korea, then Syria may be left at the top of the list.

I note that Assad likes to humiliate and lecture Tony Blair in public too, that's got to count for something when the US asks Downing Street for its support.

Posted by Kevin Parkin at February 23, 2005 09:58 PM

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